Mysterious kidnapping

  • 2010-06-10
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - Darius Valys, who on June 4 received the parliament’s approval to the post of prosecutor general and will start his work on June 15, will have one interesting international case to oversee. On June 1, Algirdas Matonis, chief of the Lithuanian criminal police bureau, held a press conference in the Lithuanian police department and announced that an Israeli diamond merchant in Lithuania on business was kidnapped by two Lithuanian citizens, who demanded his girlfriend in Israel pay $57,000 (47,722 euros) ransom for his release. The merchant was released by the Lithuanian police.

“Last night we got a call from the Israel Police representative [in Moscow]. Thank God, we didn’t need the Aras [special Lithuanian police unit] to rescue him. He was held in the Vilnius region. Both arrested have no record of having ties with gangs and no other criminal record as well,” Matonis said.

The Lithuanian police traced the kidnappers via their bank account, to which they demanded the transfer of the money. The Israeli merchant arrived in Vilnius on May 30. He is a frequent visitor to Lithuania. Although Israeli media initially presented the story as a pure attack by bandits, the story is a little bit more complicated.

Prosecutor Gintaras Jasaitis told that both Lithuanian citizens bought some diamonds in Africa and asked the merchant to produce some rings with the diamonds in Israel, and sell them. However, they never got their money and this is why they tried to get the money, which they considered as theirs, in this gangster-style way. The merchant arrived in Lithuania to discuss other business with those two Lithuanians and got imprisoned for a couple of days.
After a 48-hour detention, both Lithuanian citizens were released after signing a promise not to leave Lithuania before the trial.